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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: Oct 2019

October 09, 2019

Students Conduct Hands-on Research on HTHH

Cameron Gallant & Katherine H. Webber, UNC Chapel Hill & University of Virginia


KATHERINE: Walking on deck, I welcomed our first sunny day at HTHH; however, upon reaching the island, I was greeted by hot black sand and an all-consuming heat that would last all day. Soon, as a part of the bird/vegetation team, Emily, Arielle, Cam, and I headed towards the southwest corner of the island, which boarders Hunga Ha’apai (which I think looks like a dragon lying down). Its red eye watched over us as we drew near.

October 08, 2019

“Another Planet:” Exploring Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai

Grace Callahan, Wellesley College


Hello from the newest land mass on earth! I’m Grace, and today was my first day on Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai. (I spent yesterday on the ship, helping to ensure that our anchor wouldn’t slip and allow us to be blown out to sea.) After breakfast and a community meeting on the quarterdeck, I boarded our small rescue boat and was whisked ashore. T

October 07, 2019

Early Reports from HTHH

Frank Wenninger & Michael Tirone, George Washington University & Bowdoin College


As we labored down into the zodiac with our gear and rations, the ocean splashed violently around us. Those with hats cowered under the power of the southeasterly winds, and those in the front surrendered to the incessant spraying of the ocean.

October 07, 2019

Sailing to Mars via Earth’s Newest Landmass

Kerry Whittaker, Chief Scientist


On September 27th the SSV Robert C. Seamans departed Pago Pago Harbor, American Samoa, bound for Earth’s newest landmass, located in the Kingdom of Tonga. The ship is a Sea Education Association student sailing and oceanographic vessel with 40 souls on board: student and professional crew, faculty, a visiting scientist from NASA, and an observer from the Tongan Ministry of the Environment.

October 06, 2019

Life at The Rail

Jake Tura, C Watch, Bourne High School


As someone who has done offshore sailing before, I did not expect to be one of the unlucky ones, hunched over the rail, watching their lunch leave them. As things would turn out, leaving Pago Pago harbor, I was the very first to break. With relentless waves and a strong force 5 breeze, nausea quickly took over and I made my way to the rail on the starboard side of the quarterdeck.

October 05, 2019

Releasing the Past

Jennie Yoors, B Watch, Prescott College


Snip, snip. A clump of hair comes away in my hand floating through my fingers to the surf below. It is finally time. A year ago when I decided to do SEA semester this moment in time formed. And now, standing at the stern of “Mama Seamans” I am cutting off the blanket, the veil, the struggle, the joy, the growth, the perceptions of others, the HAIR.

October 04, 2019

Our last full day in Vava’u!

Kalo Daley, A Watch, Smith College


Malo lava friends and family,

I woke up this morning to an urgent and kind voice reminding me today was our chance to snorkel! Our final day in Vava’u, we all rushed to gather our things: snorkel gear, a packed lunch, sunscreen,
and a change of clothes.

October 03, 2019

Clang clang, boat awake

Cecelia Bolon, B Watch, Northeastern University


Although my day technically began with my 0040 watch, it really began when I (and my roommates in the foc’sl) were jolted awake by the *very* loud sound of the windlass deploying the ships anchor.

October 02, 2019

Land Ho!

Michael Tirone, C Watch, Bowdoin College


As C-Watch handed off the watch to A watch at 1900 on October 1st , and A- watch handed off watch to B watch at 0100 on October 2nd, a collective zeal to reach our first port stop dictated our conversations, increased our efforts, and scattered relief to those suffering from the ebbs and flows of the open Pacific ocean.

October 01, 2019

Tonga, here we come!

Sally Chew, B Watch, Hawai’I Pacific University


Tomorrow morning we will arrive in Vava’u, Tonga! In preparation for our arrival, today was field day. We spent our allotted class time today cleaning the entire ship. Dividing the chores up between watches, we conquered the task in 2 full hours.

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